The founding process of Google began in 1996 with the research project of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, PhD students at Stanford University in California.
While the results of searches made with traditional search engines are ordered by the logic of how many times the searched terms appear on the page, Page and Brin designed the search engine called “PageRank”, where the sites are ranked according to the interest shown.
Page and Brin later changed the name of the search engine they launched with the name “Backrub” to “Google”, inspired by the word “googol” meaning 10 to the 100th.
In the few years since its founding, Google has caught the attention of not only the academic community but also Silicon Valley investors. Formally founded on September 4, 1998, with the investment they received, Google’s team moved to offices in a garage in the California suburb of Menlo Park, where “bulky desktop computers” were located.
As the Google search engine attracted the attention of a growing number of internet users, it started selling ads related to search keywords in 2000.
With unique visitors reaching 1 billion for the first time in May 2001, Google bought the Blogger website in 2003, ensuring its competitive ability to use information gathered from blog posts.
While Google launched Gmail, one of the world’s largest email services, in 2004, it acquired the Android operating system in 2005. In 2006, Google acquired YouTube and established its own data center in the same year.
In addition to social networking tools such as Orkut, Google Buzz and Google+, Google, which has become an increasingly efficient search engine, has implemented applications such as the web browser Google Chrome, the photo viewing and editing software Picasa and the instant messaging Google Talk.
Google’s initial public offering took place in August 2004, nearly 5 years after its founding. While the company’s value skyrocketed after its IPO, it became one of the largest media companies in the world in 2005 with a market capitalization of approximately $52 billion.
As of 2014, the company had over 70 offices in more than 40 countries and was reorganized under the umbrella of Alphabet. Alphabet was founded in August 2015 to bring Google and other Google-owned companies under one roof.
In April 2020, Google announced several cost-cutting measures, such as slowing hiring and recalibrating investments for the rest of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the company is a leader in the sector with its market value and visitor numbers, it has caused controversy in many countries due to its antitrust violations.
While the US Department of Justice announced that it would investigate Google in 2019, as a result of the investigation, the company was sued in October 2020 for abusing its monopoly position in the search and search ad markets.
In January 2021, Australia proposed a law requiring Google to pay media companies for the right to use their content.
Documentation pertaining to the lawsuits filed by 10 US states against Google revealed that the company runs a program that uses data from past advertising offers to gain an advantage over competing ad services.
Google entered the EU’s radar after 2010
The European Union (EU) Commission, which holds the authority to audit whether there is an anti-competitive situation in the sectors of companies operating in European countries, took Google on its radar.
If it detects a situation contrary to competition or antitrust laws in its investigations, the Commission, which puts an end to this and imposes high fines on companies, has started many investigations against Google, especially since 2010.
In particular, the EU, which opened official investigations due to Google’s shopping, Android operating system and ads, fined Google in 2017, which was at a record level of 2.42 billion euros for abusing its dominant position in internet searches.
The commission also asked Google to change the way the company works, to “equal treatment” of its competitors in its search engine shopping service.
In 2018, the EU fined Google a new record 4.3 billion euros for violating competition rules and abusing market dominance in the Android operating system.
This file was caused by Google offering its own search and various other applications installed on the Android operating system used in mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
In the investigation, it was revealed that Google forced the Google search, Play Store and Chrome browser to pre-install in its contracts with various device manufacturers, and paid some phone manufacturers if they pre-installed Google search, which was found to be against the rules.
In 2019, the EU Commission fined Google 1.49 billion euros for abusing its market dominance in AdSense. The decision was taken on the grounds that Google included restrictive clauses in its contracts with third-party websites, preventing its competitors from advertising on these websites.
Google says it will comply with EU’s new rules
Despite conducting legal proceedings at the European Court of Justice against all penalties imposed by the EU, Google could not get these penalties to be cancelled.
Thus, Google was fined a total of over 8 billion euros for non-compliance with the EU’s competition rules.
In addition, the EU launched another antitrust investigation into Google in 2021 over ads. In this context, the EU was examining whether Google had taken advantage of its own services in advertising technology and whether rival ad service providers were harmed.
In June, the EU accused Google of violating competition rules in its digital advertising activities. The EU Commission reported to Google its preliminary opinion that Google violated EU antitrust rules by distorting competition in the ad tech industry. In the file where the official process continues, it may be possible for the company to receive a serious fine in the future.
In addition, the EU enacted new strict rules for the world’s largest technology companies, such as Google, which has a large number of users, on August 25.
Under the Digital Services Act (DSA), major digital platforms, search engines and shopping sites operating in EU countries are now subject to stricter controls and stricter rules.
Major digital platforms, including Alphabet’s Google search engine, Google Play, Google Maps, Google Shopping, and YouTube, are taking steps to limit disinformation, quickly remove illegal content, better protect minors online, and reduce risks. and were subject to external audit.
Fines of up to 6 percent of their global turnover will be imposed on digital platforms that violate the rules. In case of repetition of violations, the activity of the said digital platforms in the EU may be terminated.
Google, on the other hand, quickly announced that with this new application, it will comply with the new strict rules of the EU for digital platforms.
The most intense criticisms of Google, which has become a part of daily life for many, come from tax avoidance, manipulation of search results, use of other people’s intellectual property, violation of privacy in data collection, and monitoring and monitoring user behavior.
In order to maintain its leading position in its field, Google’s behavior that will block the way of its competitors is also viewed negatively.